Please note: the Beyond 2011 programme closed in January 2015. The Census Transformation Programme (CTP) is developing the 2021 Census.

27 March 2014 - Recommendation

Following the conclusion of an extensive programme of research and a three-month public consultation, the National Statistician has made a recommendation (236.1 KB, PDF) to the Board of the UK Statistics Authority on the census and future provision of population statistics in England and Wales. The National Statistician has recommended a predominantly online census in 2021 supplemented by the further use of administrative and survey data.

The Board of the Authority has accepted and endorsed the National Statistician’s recommendation. Sir Andrew Dilnot, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, has written to the Right Honourable Francis Maude MP (49.2 KB, PDF), Minister for the Cabinet Office, to commend the National Statistician’s recommendation to the government.

In 2010, the UK Statistics Authority asked the National Statistician and Office for National Statistics (ONS) to review the future provision of population statistics in England and Wales in order to inform the government and Parliament about the options for the next census. Over the last three years, ONS has undertaken research into new ways of counting the population, reviewed practices in other countries, engaged with a wide range of users, completed a three-month public consultation (1.16MB ,PDF) and commissioned an independent review of methodology led by Professor Chris Skinner of the London School of Economics.

Under the Census Act 1920, it is now for the government and Parliament to determine the arrangements for census-taking in England and Wales in the future.

Sir Andrew Dilnot said:

“I am very grateful to colleagues in ONS for all their hard work over the last three years to complete a thorough and extensive review of the future provision of population statistics in England and Wales and the options for the next census.

“Along with the Board of the Authority, I welcome the National Statistician’s recommendation and commend it to the government and Parliament”.

Responses to the consultation can be viewed as zipped pdf files.

18 July 2014 – The government’s response

The government's response is published on the UK Statistics Authority website.